14

Gavin Harrison & O5Ric: The Man Who Sold Himself

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Gavin Harrison & O5Ric: The Man Who Sold Himself Controversy usually sparks insightful arguments, and the third effort by this duo, including a DVD 5.1 surround sound mix, will assuredly summon disparate opinions. A largely experimental progressive rock endeavor, perennial poll-winning drummer Gavin Harrison (King Crimson, Porcupine Tree) and touch guitarist/vocalist O5Ric present a storybook-like presentation, abetted by existential lyricism and a throng of jarring themes.

Harrison is true to form, these pieces primarily designed with complex rhythmic structures, blithe treatments, and 05Ric's rangy guitar implementations. However, from a vocal stance, O5Ric's expressive nuances, and unblemished diction works well in some spots, although many of these pieces lack memorable hooks, his vocals tending to seem distant—especially during refrains where his hybrid, recitation-singing tenders a rather coarse perimeter.

The duo conveys a bit more depth than what might be expected from a prog-rock duo via the punchy, odd-metered time signatures, featuring Harrison's amazingly sophisticated polyrhythmic fills and microsecond-type shifts in strategy. But it cannot be understated that the album may not divulge the killer blow on the basis of one or two casual listens; heady and compositionally demanding, the duo works within staggered pulses that roll into curvy currents amid false-endings and thunderous opuses.

Harrison overlays a steely bass line atop his patterned tom flurries on "Identitas," spiced with his cohort's dark guitar instrumentations, the duo eliciting notions of a cavernous background interspersed with dense mosaics. Harrison's astonishing performances play tricks on the psyche, where the convergence of two or more drummers may come to fruition. His crisp press rolls, scorching triplets, and precision-oriented breakouts help generate an expansive soundstage.

Harrison plays with the beat during the more traditional "Own," nicely enamored by O5Ric's more conventional verse-chorus processes and textural guitar treatments, adding a sonic dreamscape phenomenon that tenders a rather menacing contrast. Beyond laudable technical faculties, unorthodox harmonic components and the perpetually buoyant or heavy-hitting cadences, the program also benefits from a crystalline audio engineering process.

For drum students, this pared-down group setting enables Harrison to strut his very special stuff. Simply stated, he inadvertently provides a clinic. But looking at the big picture, the album may pose a debacle for the artists' staunch admirers. It resides more on the "outside" spectrum and doesn't fit snugly within the norm. Even though King Crimson's famously complex legacy intimates technical excellence, many of its compositions possess memorable melodies, and similar connotations also apply to Porcupine Tree's artistry. However, The Man Who Sold Himself presents an opportunity to witness two prolific minds traversing an alternate course that proposes copious challenges and intermittent rewards.

Track Listing: Prize; Identitas; The Man Who Sold Himself; Own; Body Temple; 107; Wherewithal; Awake; Illusion; Way. DVD: 5.1 surround sound mix.

Personnel: Gavin Harrison: drums, bass and guitar; O5Ric: vocals, touch guitar; Gary Sanctuary: piano and keyboards (1).

Title: The Man Who Sold Himself | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Kscope Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Dream Within A Dream CD/LP/Track Review Dream Within A Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Live At The High Noon CD/LP/Track Review Live At The High Noon
by Doug Collette
Published: June 22, 2017
Read As It Should Be: Ballads 2 CD/LP/Track Review As It Should Be: Ballads 2
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 21, 2017
Read Karoujite CD/LP/Track Review Karoujite
by John Eyles
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "Rhythmic Movement" CD/LP/Track Review Rhythmic Movement
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 22, 2016
Read "Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960" CD/LP/Track Review Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 1, 2017
Read "From the Nocturnal Chironian" CD/LP/Track Review From the Nocturnal Chironian
by Dave Wayne
Published: March 14, 2017
Read "Natural Language" CD/LP/Track Review Natural Language
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: September 2, 2016
Read "Jambú" CD/LP/Track Review Jambú
by Joe Gatto
Published: February 13, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.